LUTZ — Steinbrenner and ace Brennan Garcia entered Tuesday’s night’s game looking to increase the gap between the Warriors and Class 7A-8 rival Wiregrass Ranch in the district standings.
The Bulls’ Zach Drury and Michael Campoamor would have something to say about that.
After losing to Steinbrenner four times in a row last year, Wiregrass Ranch took fate into its own hands. From last year’s region semifinals to Tuesday’s 12-2 rout, Wiregrass Ranch (10-2, 4-1) has defeated Steinbrenner (11-3, 4-2) three consecutive times to claim the district lead.
“Last year, they had our number, but this year we came out trying to prove a point,” Campoamor said.
Deja vu and a smooth pitching performance by the bash brothers of baseball — Austin and Zach Drury — kept the Warriors silent through five innings.
And the Bulls had a little extra help this time.
An unstoppable offensive performance by leadoff hitter Campoamor paced the Bulls. He hit 2-for-3 and raked in four total runs. Two of them came in the top of the fourth when the Bulls trailed by one. Steinbrenner’s Cole Gordon had clobbered the ball to rightfield during the bottom of the second inning for the Warriors’ only runs.
“It’s awesome knowing that if I’m struggling on the mound, I can count on my brother to have my back,” Zach Drury said.
In addition to the stellar pitching, Zach and Austin Drury each knocked in a run.
Other than Gordon’s early hit, the Warriors were limited to nine walks and two hits. Even with the lack of hits, Steinbrenner still posed a threat with three separate bases-loaded situations. But they were quickly put back into place by Zach Drury.
“I go into every at-bat during these situations looking for a strikeout. I’m just trying to get ahead quick and stay ahead,” he said.
The Warriors had few opportunities to score from the fourth inning on. And on defense, they were damaged by five-plus errors, four from infielder Sean Timkee.
“We had mental mistakes and against a great team like Wiregrass, we can’t have that,” Gordon said. “Bottom line, we came out flat.”